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How to Give Great Design Feedback That's Useful - Ep. 13

Updated: Jun 17

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If you want a logo, website, or brand that shows off your personality and attracts the right people you have to take time to participate in the design process because client feedback is a super important part of the process.

If you want your designer to bring your vision to life you need to be able to provide honest critiques & feedback. Otherwise you are doing a disservice to yourself and 6 months down the road you realize you don't have exactly what you were hoping for because you weren't able to give your designer the feedback needed to create your vision.

As a designer we want you to be a part of our creative process. We are open to honest, and constructive feedback, trust me you won't hurt our feelings, it's all part of the job.

Know that it's very rare for a designer to create something you love first try. When we send out proofs we never assume that the design will come back with no changes. Does it happen? yes, but rarely.

If you've ever had work done by a designer and felt like the designs didn't meet your expectations then there was probably miscommunication somewhere. I'm hoping that learning about how to provide feedback will help strengthen your communication with your designer and will give you the steps to bring your vision to life.

I know providing design feedback can be nerve-wracking so let's cover some best practices for providing effective design feedback.

Let's dive in.

1. Think about your brand goals and objectives

Before providing feedback on a design, think about the goals and objectives of the project.

If you're having a logo created and you want to appeal to a younger audience the initial proof of the logo from the designer might feature vibrant colors, bold typography, and a modern artistic style.

If you prefer a more neutral color palette and editorial-style fonts, it's important to understand why you want to make those changes.

You want to give feedback that aligns with your brand and target audience, instead of changing the design solely based on your personal preference.

Giving feedback that aligns with your brand and ideal client, will help make sure that the final logo really hits the mark and attract the right people to your brand.

Bad Feedback: "I don't like the colors or the fonts"

This is not helpful because it doesn't provide any specific information or examples of what the client doesn't like or how it relates to the business goals.

Good Feedback: "I really appreciate the use of vibrant colors and bold typography, but I'm wondering if we can explore some more muted color options to better align with our brand's tone and aesthetic.

I would also love to see some different font styles that feel more editorial and modern.

I want the logo to connect with our younger target audience while still feeling true to our brand identity."

This feedback is constructive and specific, providing clear direction on what changes need to be made and why. It also aligns with the overall goals and objectives of the brand, ensuring that the final logo will effectively attract the right clients.

2. Be specific

When providing feedback, it's crucial to be as specific as possible. Vague comments like "I don't like it" or "It's not quite there yet" are not helpful. Instead, try to identify what specifically you don't like and provide examples.

Every person has their own way of interpreting visuals. As much as we would like designers to be mind readers they are are not and can only interpret something based on their understanding

So providing visual examples like screenshots, a moodboard or even the design printed out with changes written on it is great.

Designers need to know exactly what changes you want so they aren't guessing and changing the wrong elements. Otherwise, you might end up with a design that doesn't meet your expectations.

Bad feedback: "I don't like the design. It needs more color."

This is not helpful because it's not specific. The designer doesn't know which colors to add, where to add them, or how to incorporate them into the design.

Good feedback: "I like the layout, but I think the color palette needs improvement. I'd like to see more shades of blue and a brighter shade of green for the call-to-action button.

This is helpful because it provides specific instructions for the designer to follow. The designer now knows which colors to use, where to use them, and how to incorporate them into the design.

3. Offer constructive criticism

Designers put a lot of time and effort into their work, so be respectful and constructive when providing feedback.

Instead of focusing on what you don't like, try to frame your feedback in a way that suggests improvements. Start by stating what you like about the design and what works then move on to what could be improved and what you would like changed. This will not only help clarify your own ideas but the designer will know exactly what to change and you will end up with an end product that you love.

Also please don't be shy about giving feedback because we really do appreciate your ideas, the best designs are always a collaborative process. Especially when it comes to anything creative I truly believe two minds are better than one.

Bad Feedback: "I don't like it, the font is too small"

Remember to be specific and mention exactly what you would like to see changed. Don't forget to add something constructive as well.

Good Feedback: "I really like the layout of the design, but I think the font size could be increased to make it more legible."

This is great because it states what they like but also states their concerns about a larger font size and why they want a larger font.

4. Don't get too attached to your own ideas

I gotta tell you it took me a while to learn this but once I did it changed the way I design forever. Before I would always get stuck on a certain way that I thought something should look and waste many hours on one idea that just doesn't work.

This is why It's important to stay open to feedback and critique from both ends of the process. Designers should be willing to adjust their design to client ideas and clients should be willing to adjust to designer ideas.

Sometimes designs or certain layouts just don't work and have to be scrapped. Or sometimes certain pictures or font choices no matter how much you mess with the design doesn't work with the layout or composition. You just have to move on, let it go, and try something else.

Getting too attached to our own ideas can limit creativity and prevent us from exploring new possibilities.

In graphic design, there are often many ways to design something so it's crucial to remain open to different ideas and techniques. This way, we can come up with innovative and effective designs.

Designers have a unique perspective and may suggest ideas that you have never even thought of. Be open to these ideas and willing to collaborate. Remember, the designer is an expert in their field, and they have a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can draw on.

Your designer may have reasons for making certain design choices, and their expertise can help to create a successful final product. By working together and offering respectful and constructive feedback, you can help to create designs that meet everyone's needs and expectations.

To wrap things up providing effective design feedback is crucial if you want an end product you love and accurately represents your brand and appeals to your target audience.

When giving a designer feedback remember to:

1. Consider your brand goals and target audience

2. Be specific in your feedback

3. Offer constructive criticism

4. Don't get too attached to your own ideas

Remember designers welcome your feedback. If they don't they are not the right designer for you. Don't be afraid to participate in the design process and dedicate time to collaborate together.

So read the whole email, look at all of the proofs closely don't just skim it. It's the only way to ensure that your unique vision comes to life.

Take the time because it's your logo or it's your website and you want it to look good so you have to put in the effort as well. Providing that feedback really is the only way to ensure that your unique vision comes to life because your designer will not get it on the first try, it will take a couple of tries to try and hone in on your vision. So don't expect to just have one proof and you're done. Well, that's all I have for you today. Happy designing. See you next time.


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